Being jobless in Canada just got more worrisome after the Harper government said unemployed Canadians will face tougher requirements to hang on to their Employment Insurance benefits.
The crackdown is meant to push unemployed Canadians off the insurance rolls and into the workforce, even if it means they must accept lower-paying jobs or work they may not want.
“This is going to impact everyone because what we want to do is make sure that the McDonald’s of the world aren’t having to bring in temporary foreign workers to do jobs that Canadians who are on EI have the skills to do,” Human Resources Minister Diane Finley said Thursday.How do we unpack that statement?
Being Minister of Human Resources I think it's safe to assume she is privy to the details of Canada's job market and if we are to take anything away from what she said I'd say she is implying that much of the labour market growth in Canada is coming from the steady rise in the number of fast-food restaurants and other franchise operations that now litter the landscape like discarded trash along the highway.
How about that? Much attention is given to the labour market growth in Canada's resource sector but we seem to be ignoring that McDonald's, Burger King, Tim Hortons, Dairy Queen, Wal-Mart, Subway, Swiss Chalet, Tim Hortons, Target (opening in March 2013 and formerly Zellers), Loblaws, Taco Bell, Harvey's, Starbucks, Tim Hortons, Pizza Pizza, Ikea, Future Shop, Best Buy, Tim Hortons, Great Canadian Super Superstore, Time Hortons, Canadian Tire, Tim Hortons, Tim Hortons, Tim Hortons, and Tim Hortons are major contributors to it as well.
I don't know why they're being ignored. I guess no one wants to hear or report that a bulk of the job growth is to be found in dead end, minimum wage, counter and floor help at franchise operations. I guess we're all supposed to rejoice in the fact that it's 2012 and we're still a nation of hewers of wood and drawers of water. Which reminds me, Research In Motion is planning to lay-off as few as 2,000 people worldwide this summer with the possibility of more to come but I digress.
Perhaps the real problem is to be found not in the lack of those willing to staff those jobs but in the growth of those businesses in the first place. If they weren't built then there'd be no demand for labour.
Do we really need another Tim Hortons in this country? Is the economy going to crash due to a lack of McDonald's restaurants? How about preventing foreigners from buying their way into Canada by purchasing an unneeded fast-food franchise and placing it where there is no labour available to supply it?
We need to regulate these operations. They shouldn't be restricted from building them but they should be restricted to relying on the local labour market to find workers. If they can't find them then they should raise the wage being offered to attract them.
This how the free market is supposed to work. When there's more demand the price goes up. But the temporary foreign worker program distorts this by flooding the job market with imported overseas labour, increasing the supply, and driving wages down even to the point were it will be legal to drive them below the allowable minimum. This is how the real "free market" works. Businesses love it when it makes them rich. When the "free market" fails to cooperate the business community runs to the government for help. It's nanny-state for them, free market discipline for everyone else.
But what does mediocre politician and future Cadillac pension recipient, Human Resources Minister Diane Finley care? She and her Harper crony Conservative Senator husband Doug Finley will collectively receive $4.3 million in lifetime salary and pension benefits care of the tax payer. Wait, maybe her zeal for getting Canadians off EI and working makes sense now. Someone needs to pay for that bullsh**t and it certainly isn't going to be her.